Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mourdock Resigns to Maximize His Pension

Last week state treasurer Richard Mourdock announced that he was stepping down from his office just months before his term expires. The reason? Evidently a new law, which went into effect the day after he announced his resignation, would have reduced his pension somewhat. When he learned of its impact from a retirement counselor, Mourdock reported to the Evansville Courier Press that “it caused me to think about it differently.” Political analyst Lesley Widenbener found Mourdock's decision "disappointing":

Mourdock has made a career out of lecturing voters about the importance of being a good citizen. He’s used history and public policy and fiery rhetoric to tell Hoosiers why they should vote, why they should be concerned about the state and the nation’s spending and debt, and why they should hold their political leaders accountable.

And along the way he’s made controversial decisions in the name of doing what’s right for Indiana. Most notably, he sued to stop the Obama administration from bailing out Chrysler, a move he said cheated the state, which had invested in the company. He took the case to the U.S. Supreme Court – where he lost – even as his critics complained that the state had to spend millions on the suit and that winning could have cost Indiana even more – thousands of jobs if Chrysler had gone under.

Mourdock maintained throughout the situation that he was simply trying to do what was right – and doing so was more important than doing what was popular.

This week, Mourdock did the opposite. Rather than doing what’s right – finishing a job voters elected him to do – Mourdock made a selfish decision for his own economic future.

You can read Weidenbener's analysis from the Statehouse File here.